Pizza and curry nights are proving popular at the Angel Louise Cafe and Restaurant in Raetihi with both locals and visitors.

The popular daytime eatery has been trying out the night-time dining options to give locals somewhere to dine in Raetihi instead of having to drive to Ohakune for dinner.

"People have been enjoying dining inside as well as out in the garden during the summer," says cafe worker Wiki Brown.

"Things were very quiet while the Parapara and River Roads were closed but we have been really busy during the past few weeks."


Among the patrons at the cafe this week was Jiri Eibensteiner from the Czech Republic who has been staying in Raetihi this month. "I arrived in Auckland and started making my way down the North Island - I did not really have a plan.

"I met a guy from Raetihi and he has provided me with work so I have been staying here and I'm glad to be in this nice place."

Mr Eibensteiner said he did not want to just pass through places without meeting people and getting to know them.

"I do want to explore more of the country but to have the opportunity to work and live somewhere for a while is very lucky."

Chef Louise Rangiihu has been working at the cafe since it opened almost 12 years ago and the eatery was named for her and former chef Angel Reid.

She now shares the cooking with manager Tracey O'Connell serving up dishes that incorporate their home-grown produce.

The cafe offers made-to-order packed lunches for day-trippers, internet connection and occasional live music.

There is also a child-friendly space for play and colouring-in and a sunny courtyard out the back with a brazier to add a bit of warmth for night-time diners.